Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Liverpool in the first leg Champions League semi final clash played at the Camp Nou.
Luis Suarez got the opener in the 26th minute courtesy of a great pass from Jordi Alba as the teams went into the break with a 1-0 scoreline.
Then Messi had an easy tap-in from a Suarez shot that hit the cross-bar to double the advantage for Barcelona.
And a sublime free kick in the 82nd minute from 30-yards sealed a 3-0 win for the Spanish champions and Messi's dream of lifting the Champions League as captain is still on course.
The second leg will be played on Tuesday, May 7, at Anfield as Liverpool will be looking to do the impossible, by overturning a 3-0 deficit from the first leg.
Messi has now scored against all English teams he has played against and reached 600 goals for Barcelona as well as his 12th Champions League goal of the season and his 48th in all competitions.
May 01 19:59 PM
01’ — Kick off
The much anticipated match gets underway, can Liverpool survive in Barcelona's slaughter ground? The answers will be gotten after 90 minutes.
May 01 20:04 PM
02’ — Lovely end-to-end stuff
The early exchanges sees Luis Suarez swing a cross into the box and Mohamed Salah's shot at the other end is blocked. Evidence of more explosive action to come.
May 01 20:07 PM
04’ — CHANCE!
Luis Suarez gets the first real chance of the match but his header goes agonizingly wide. Barcelona looking to score first and unsettle Liverpool.
May 01 20:08 PM
05’ — Barcelona: 38%, Liverpool: 62%.
Liverpool have the better of the possession in the opening five minutes of the match as they try to settle into the match as quickly as possible.
May 01 20:10 PM
08’ — Liverpool's first attack
Joe Gomez from passes the ball in the box, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen comes out to extinguish the ball.
May 01 20:12 PM
09’ — Suarez's reckless tackle
Suarez delivers a crunching tackle to James Milner ad moments late Salah directs a ball into the Baca's box but its intercepted.
May 01 20:14 PM
12’ — Liverpool looking better
Andrew Robertson delivers a teasing cross into Barcelona's box, but his team mate arrives a little late and can't benefit from it.
May 01 20:16 PM
13’ — What a game we have in our hands
Liverpool are dominating possession in Barcelona's backyard as a cross was swung in to Mane in the box, but Pique's timely intervention saves the day for the home team.
May 01 20:19 PM
15’ — Coutinho's chance
Philippe Coutinho shoots from outside the box, but Alisson Becker has it under control. The match is getting into a higher tempo.
May 01 20:20 PM
18’ — Pique's blunder
Gerard Pique nearly cost his team a goal after a defensive blunder. He goes a bit too far as the pulls down Sadio Mane but was lucky to have not been booked.
May 01 20:22 PM
20’ — Naby Keita's injury
Things are not looking good for Liverpool as Keita is down with injury. Jordan Henderson is already warming up on the sidelines. The match still at 0-0.
May 01 20:25 PM
23’ — Liverpool start a counter attack
Sadio Mane from swings a cross into the box but to no avail. Robertson also directs a ball squarely in the box, but it's intercepted by an opponent.
May 01 20:27 PM
24’ — Early Substitution
Jordan Henderson comes in for injured Naby Keita. Not what Jurgen Klopp had planned from the beginning but his side are playing well at the moment.
May 01 20:28 PM
25’ — Equal possession
Barcelona: 50%, Liverpool: 50%. The scores also at 0-0.
May 01 20:29 PM
26’ — GOOOOOOOOAAAAAL!
It's that man Suarez.
May 01 20:30 PM
26’ — Suarez slides in with the finish
The deadlock has finally been broken as Jordi Alba delivers a perfect assist to the Uruguayan, who runs in between Van Dijk and Matip to apply the sliding finish. 1-0 Barca.
It's Suarez's first goal in the Champions League coming from his 36th shot. It really took long but came at the right time.
May 01 20:33 PM
30’ — Suarez is really tormenting his former team
Suarez directs a ball squarely in the box, but it's intercepted by an opponent player. Liverpool should focus more on Suarez not Messi because he is having a filled day. A neat 1-2 from Jordi Alba to Suarez sends the crowd at the Camp Nou to frenzy
May 01 20:37 PM
34’ — CHANCE for Liverpool
Sadio Mane has a wonderful chance to score but somehow manages to miss the target. How did he miss that? Goal kick to Barcelona.
May 01 20:40 PM
38’ — It's all Liverpool now
A shot by Mohamed Salah is blocked another from Milner but fails to find the target. It's getting more interesting at the Camp Nou.
May 01 20:42 PM
39’ — First caution of the match
A tactical foul from Clement Lenglet sees no other way than stopping a Liverpool counter attack and receives a yellow card and goes into the referee's book.
May 01 20:43 PM
40’ — Barcelona now in control but possession is even
Barcelona: 50%, Liverpool: 50%. Still 1-0 to the Spanish champions. A decent result from a Liverpool perspective going back to Anfield, but there is still much to play for in the second half.
May 01 20:45 PM
40’ — Milner's free kick
Milner leans over and takes a free kick but Gerard Pique relieves the pressure by making a clearance.
May 01 20:46 PM
43’ — Milner fouls Messi
James Milner goes a bit too far there as the pulls down Lionel Messi. The referees talks to the players to calm nerves. It's still Barcelona 1-0 Liverpool.
May 01 20:47 PM
45’ — Half time
The game has lived up to its billing as a Luis Suarez's 26th minute strike made the difference in the first 45 minutes. Liverpool on the other hand, have taken the game to the door step of the home team. An exciting second half is expected.
May 01 21:11 PM
46’ — Second half
Liverpool come out the more purposeful but they will have to watch their backs for a Barcelona counter attack.
May 01 21:12 PM
47’ — CHANCE!
James Milner forces a good save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen who turns the ball behind for a corner! That's more likely from the Merseyside club.
May 01 21:13 PM
49’ — Milner with the threat again
The Englishman chips the ball into Barcelona's box but Arturo Vidal relieves pressure with a clearance. Barca are on the back-foot.
May 01 21:14 PM
50’ — Possession slightly on Barca's side
Barcelona: 51%, Liverpool: 49%.
May 01 21:15 PM
53’ — Salah!
A good long range shot from Mohamed Salah and Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to make another fine save as Liverpool is awarded a corner kick.
May 01 21:17 PM
55’ — Injury to Barcelona
Already yellow-carded Clement Lenglet is injured and is taken off the field to receive medical treatment. The Frenchman returns to the field as the crowd cheer him on.
May 01 21:19 PM
57’ — Liverpool attack time after time
Joe Gomez from Liverpool directs a ball squarely in the box, but it's intercepted Lenglet. Liverpool getting closer and closer as they ask Barcelona questions in the second half.
May 01 21:21 PM
60’ — Possession even
Barcelona: 50%, Liverpool: 50%. A goal from either of the two sides will take the game to another level.
May 01 21:22 PM
60’ — SUBSTITUTION!
Coutinho comes out for Semedo in a defensive substitution. Ernesto Valverde is looking to add more men in defence as Liverpool are creating more and more chances.
May 01 21:26 PM
64’ — Messi's move
Messi who has been far from his best cuts the Liverpool's defence open with a through ball as Vidal sends in a cross but intercepted for corner. Rakitic takes it and Lenglet should have scored but misses the golden opportunity.
May 01 21:28 PM
66’ — Matip's blunder
Joel Matip's weak attempt to clear the ball puts his side under pressure but Alisson comes out and save his blushes.
May 01 21:30 PM
68’ — Gomez's chance
Joseph Gomez fails to find the target with a shot from outside the box. Liverpool are lacking that finish in the final third.
May 01 21:31 PM
69’ — Liverpool play into Barca's box
Liverpool connect two-three passes in Barcelona's box but a deflection takes into the hands of Ter Stegen.
It's more of Liverpool at the moment in their opponent's half as Barcelona look to catch them on the counter.
May 01 21:39 PM
75’ — Messi with the goal
Lionel Messi who has not been at his best all night, takes advantage of a Luis Suarez's loose ball that hits the cross bar to finish. It's 2-0 to Barcelona. It's his 599 goals for Barcelona, one more to clock 600.
May 01 21:38 PM
75’ — GOOOOOAAAAAAAL!
It's Lionel Messi.
May 01 21:36 PM
75’ — 15 minutes to go
With 15 minutes left to play Liverpool are still searching for that crucial away-goal that will give them the advantage going back to Anfield.
May 01 21:41 PM
77’ — Messi is fired up
The Argentine dribbles past Liverpool defenders as his shot is blocked. The Barcelona captain is fired up.
May 01 21:42 PM
78’ — SUBSTITUTION
An attacking change for Liverpool as Roberto Firmino comes in for Georgino Wijnaldum.
May 01 21:43 PM
82’ — Yellow cards to either side
Fabinho receives a yellow for a tackle on Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez is cautioned for dissent.
May 01 21:45 PM
82’ — GOOOOOAAAAL!
It's 3-0 and it's that little man again. it's his 600th Barcelona goal, 48th of the season, 12th in the Champions League.
May 01 21:46 PM
82’ — Messi nets his brace
The Barcelona talisman scores another trademark free kick as Alisson's long hand could not reach the ball. It's Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool. Messi is not in his best from, but he is unstoppable. He has now scored against every English side he has played against.
May 01 21:49 PM
84’ — Liverpool looking to reduce the deficit
Liverpool are looking to reduce the deficit to stand a chance of qualifying into the final as Mohamed Salah sees a huge opportunity go begging but his shot hits the post.
May 01 21:50 PM
86’ — YELLOW CARD
Jordi Alba becomes Barcelona's third player to go into the book for time wasting.
May 01 21:52 PM
88’ — It's man-of-the-match Suarez again
Luis Suarez directs the ball behind Liverpool's defence, but the keeper reads the play well and comes to claim it
May 01 21:52 PM
90’ — Five minutes to be added
Barcelona: 49%, Liverpool: 51%. Liverpool have just five minutes to give themselves hope for the second leg at Anfield.
May 01 21:55 PM
90’ — Barcelona are not finished yet
Luis Suarez directs a ball squarely in the box, but it's intercepted by an opponent player. The Blaugrana does not seem to have had enough, they want more goals.
May 01 21:56 PM
90’ — SUBSTITUTION
Dembele comes in for Suarez to run down the clock. The crowd at the Camp Nou all rise to their feet to salute a five-star performance from Suarez.
May 01 21:57 PM
90’ — Final whistle
The center-referee blows the final whistle as Barcelona take a 3-0 advantage in the second leg at Anfield. Liverpool gave a spirited performance but will have a mountain to climb in the second leg.